Submitted Date 10/28/2019

20 Simple Thanksgiving Family Traditions To Use This Year

What family traditions will you incorporate into your Thanksgiving Day this year? The holiday is only four weeks away, and it will be here before you know it!

Here are 20 simple Thanksgiving family traditions you can choose from to use this holiday:

Light Breakfast – eat a light breakfast with the family before the holiday meal prep begins. This can be as simple as breakfast finger foods. This is especially helpful for families who eat Thanksgiving dinner later in the day. Breakfast finger foods can include mini-egg muffins, mini muffins, small sausage balls, and mini-pancakes.

Individual Quiet Time – take some quiet time for yourself the morning of Thanksgiving. Think about what you are truly thankful for – after all, this is what the holiday is all about. Take time to read a short Thanksgiving devotional before starting on a busy day of meal prep and family activities.

Light a Candle – consider lighting a candle for a lost loved one who has already passed. The family can participate with you in a few moments of silence to honor these loved ones.

Thanks-Giving Jar – allow the children and adults to write what they are thankful for this holiday season. They can write this on a poster, card, or on butcher paper placed on the table. You can even create a Thanksgiving jar and place strips of paper beside. As people come into the home, they can write a few things they are thankful for. Then, at the time of the meal, each can take a strip out of the jar and read what others are thankful for.

Children Services – children love to be involved in special events. Consider what duties they can do as a helper for Thanksgiving. Maybe, you can allow them to serve desserts to everyone. Or, they can easily place cards on the table – showing where everyone is going to sit. Simple duties given to the children will help them to feel like a “real” part of the celebration.

Nature Walk – as a family, consider taking a nature walk. This can be any stretch of the day, even after dinner is served. The idea is to take time to spend together and enjoy the great outdoors. The walk will be like a breath of fresh air for all.

Call Family – if you have a family who does not live near, be sure to give them a call. Connecting with your loved ones will cheer lonely hearts, and they will enjoy the conversation.

Volunteer for Community – some families volunteer for community dinners to serve those less fortunate. Usually, there are opportunities in nearly every area to feed the hungry, especially this time of year.

Thanksgiving Games – families with and without children may play Thanksgiving games as a family tradition. Creating thankful notes, guess how many, pumpkin toss, and pin the feather on the turkey are a few ideas.

Bake Cookies Together – baking cookies together as a family is fun. The children even like to get involved in the cooking process when baking. The young ones also enjoy decorating cookies for a holiday. Some families enjoy making an edible cookie wreath

Family Fun Night – families with children enjoy having a carnival-style family fun night. You can include simple games for the children to enjoy – pumpkin toss, bean bag toss, spin the wheel, and more. And, include simple Thanksgiving prizes for the little ones.

Family Game Night – another option for adult families is to have a family game night. Bring out the family favorites to enjoy a special time together – Monopoly, Life, Yahtzee, Rummy, as well as your personal favorites.

Family Pinata – some families enjoy breaking open a family pinata as a family tradition. To learn how to create a confetti-stuffed turkey pinata, be sure to check out Studio DIY’s post. Or, if you desire something simpler, buy one at the store to fill with candy for the children. 

Children Crafts – children love to create new things, and you can include making children crafts for your Thanksgiving tradition. The arts can be made with store-bought kits, or it can be as simple as making a creative tablecloth. Cover the table with brown paper and add crayons for the children to color their designs.  

Break the Wishbone – don’t forget the family tradition of breaking the turkey wishbone after dinner. Children and grownups love to participate in this old family tradition!

Blessings & Toasts – before the Thanksgiving meal is served, say a blessing over the family during prayer time. Moreover, make a traditional toast telling what you are thankful for during this year.

Serve Pumpkin Pie – serving pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving has been a long-time family tradition. You can also serve other family favorite pies – pecan pie, chocolate cream pie, or even hot apple cinnamon pie.

Operation Christmas Child – each year, our family enjoys filling a few shoeboxes for children in need. Operation Christmas Child sends shoeboxes filled with needed items around the world to needy boys and girls. For more detailed information, be sure to check out Operation Christmas Child details

Operation Shoebox – another idea is to participate in Operation Shoebox, which sends boxes to troops abroad. Packages sent include items such as candy, toothpaste, toiletries, batteries, books, and more. For a complete list of care package items, please visit Operation Shoebox care package page.

Decorate for Christmas – many families like to begin their holiday decorating for Christmas during Thanksgiving weekend. This family tradition can be helpful for large families. Each member of the family can choose a “decorating duty” and work together to complete decorating the home.

What is Your Thanksgiving Family Tradition?

Now, you have some ideas on how to add a simple family tradition to your holiday. If you are new to using family traditions, then simply choose from the plans listed above and add them to your holiday family time.

Or, maybe you have been celebrating Thanksgiving using family traditions for some time now!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving family tradition? We would love to hear of your ways of adding a special touch to your Thanksgiving holiday each year! Please leave us your thoughts and comments!

Barbi Green


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